CLARKSDALE, MS (abc24.com) - There are new details in the murder of Mississippi mayoral candidate, Marco McMillian. ABC 24 News tracked down the family who received a panicked phone call from the accused killer, Lawrence Reed. The family says Reed also stopped by their house only minutes after the murder.
The home sits on Highway 49 in Coahoma County, Mississippi, just outside of Clarksdale. It's less than a mile from where Marco McMillian's truck was found crashed the morning of February 26th. The sisters who live in the home say Reed stopped by their house just before he crashed McMillian's truck, and ended up in the hospital. "He was supposed to have taken him to a party in Marks, but you know, they didn't ever make it," one sister says.
Clarksdale is a small town with a lot of talk. The sisters asked to not be identified because of what they call, "small town politics."
In Clarskdale, everyone's taking a side. Reed's roommate, Kamillia Evans, told abc24.com just days after the murder, "If he did do it he was defending himself."
Lamar Kearney is a Clarksdale resident who doesn't believe the claim, "That don't sound like self defense to me."
However, the sisters say Reed told them everything. Just after midnight on February 26, their youngest sister received a panicked call from Reed. One sister says, "He called at 12:11am and he told her that the dude (McMillian) was trying to rape him. He was exposing himself to him, playing with himself, telling him to do things and then he'll take him home."
He told the girl he was on a back road and couldn't get away. A few minutes later a bruised, bloody and broken Reed showed up at their back porch. "He just looked like he had been through war..." one sister describes, "He was standing in the back, back here, telling God to forgive him. He didn't mean to do it, and he was saying that he just wanted to die."
She says when Reed couldn't get away from McMillian, he used the chain on his wallet to choke the 200 pound politician. "He was shaking real hard, he was crying real hard, he was circling, begging for somebody to talk to him."
The sisters say Reed was inconsolable and, they believe, suicidal. "When he left out, he just drove out, sped up and hit a white truck head on."
On Sunday, McMillian's family released a statement saying the politician was dragged, beaten and burned. A source close to the investigation told abc24.com the family's description of the death was inaccurate. His face was swollen. He had a black eye, he was dragged by hand a few feet and there were burn marks on small areas of his skin.
Still, Mississippi Congressman, Bennie Thompson, wants every avenue pursued. He asked the FBI to investigate whether this was a hate crime, based on the fact that McMillian was openly gay.
Thompson says, "There are a lot of people who are hurt in this situation and if we can provide any additional information as to what went into the unfortunate and untimely death of Mr. McMillian then hopefully this additional review by the FBI will give us that information."
The FBI released the following statement: "The FBI is aware of the case, has been monitoring the State's investigation, and will assess evidence to determine whether federal prosecution is appropriate."